Sometimes it’s good to step outside the bubble and get feel for what others are saying. Here’s a collection of other analyses and reactions to the Cammalleri/Bourque swap:
– Montreal fan and writer Olivier Bouchard counts scoring chances for the Habs. Here’s his excellent, in-depth scouting report of Cammalleri:
First, the usual from behindthenet: Amongst forwards with 20+ games played, top CorsiRelQualComp, slightly sub-par corsiRel, poor on-ice sv% (.901) and average on-ice sh% (8,94%). Pretty high zone starts at 54%.
On Cammalleri the sniper –
I wrote a little something on Cammalleri right before christmas:
http://enattendantlesnordiques.blogspot.com/2011/12/cammalleri.html (warning! French!)
I did this because it was already pretty clear that Cammalleri’s name was circulating and a week later Gauthier was pretty much singling him out with Plekanec as under-performing vets who were part of the reason why the Habs were crappy (Gauthier also alluded to the fact that the team had been over the salary floor for 4 out the the team’s first 40 games of the season).
Anyways, to summarize what’s written in the blogpost, which was about individual scoring chances (or last touch on chance): After Eric Cole, Cammalleri was the top scoring chance getter on the Habs at Even Strength (1.5 SC / 15 minutes of play) and the club’s best scoring chance getter on the power play (4.4 / 15 to Cole’s 3.8). The habs and their opponents have, over the 2 and a half year I’ve recorded SC data, converted between 14 and 17% of their chances into goals, and this doesn’t change much wether you are on special teams or at ES (same for the Flames).
Cammalleri has, since the beginning of the season, scored 1 goal on 28 PP SC (4%) and 6 on 48 ES SC (12% – the two remaining goals he’s had at ES were non-SC goals). He’s not having a thunderous season, but he’s been snakebitten on the PP, that’s for sure.
On Cammalleri’s usage in Montréal –
You know very well Cammalleri’s strength is the offensive zone. In MTL, he was mostly paired with Plekanec in a Power vs Power role. One should note that Cammalleri was often replaced by Moen for DZone faceoffs and double-shifted with other lines for offensive zone faceoffs. But still, Jacques Martin used him in a role that was sub-optimal (you really want him out of a pure PvP setup for he isn’t terribly fast or good in the defensive zone) with the expected goal of giving some legit offensive ooomph to Plekanec who, otherwise, would be stuck with Kostitsyn, Moen or whomever.
Those were the last two seasons.
This year, Gauthier chose to stack the low end of the depth chart with rookies. Once vets started to get injured (well Gomez was the straw that broke the Camel’s back), Jacques Martin relied ever more heavily on his remaining vets to kinda sorta shelter the rookies. Plekanec and Cammalleri were on the receiving end of the deal.
KW Notes: This is mostly good news. It refelcts what we know about Cammalleri (not really a PvP option), but it also shows he has generated chances at a team best rate on MTL this year and his poor output this season is mostly to do with bad luck.
– Next up, Oiler fans Scott Reynolds and the Nations own Jonathan Willis each give the trade a thumbs up from the Flames perspective:
The question for me is which guy is a better bet going forward, and I’d be betting on Cammalleri for sure. He has a longer track record of success, his peak years are much better, and even though he makes a bit more now (his $6M cap hit compares to just $3.33M for Bourque), Cammalleri’s contract contains less risk because it expires at the end of the 2013-14 season, shortly before his 32nd birthday; Bourque’s doesn’t expire until after the 2015-16 season, at which point he’ll already be 34.
As for the extras, I think the Flames do better here too. The difference between a mid-second rounder and a fifth-rounder is significant, but (a) both picks are still very unlikely to become top players (about 15% for the 2nd and 4% for the 5th), and (b) the Flames get to make their pick one year sooner, which helps to bridge that gap even more. And what little difference there is there is more than made up for in the swap of young players. Granted, Patrick Holland is having a good season in the WHL, but he’s also 20. You never know, of course, but I’d be pretty surprised to see him make it to the NHL. Karri Ramo, on the other hand, could be a significant help to the Flames in the long-term.
In addition to Cammalleri, the Flames add Karri Ramo, who has been lights out in the KHL for three seasons now. Ramo went across the pond after a short and not especially successful career as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s backup goaltender; nevertheless he’s just 25 years old and has been getting better every year. With Miikka Kiprusoff and Henrik Karlsson both signed for next season it isn’t clear where Ramo might fit, but he’s definitely an asset with considerable value.
– For an in-depth take, listen to the Globe and Mail’s discussion with Sean Gordon and Eric Duhatschek here. The podcast is a bit too long to summarize, outside of "it’s complicated".
– Over at Sportsnet.ca, Mark Spector suggests the Flames are still headed in the wrong direction. He shares the misgivings of some of the Calgary base that Calgary’s management is clinging to frail hopes that will only delay and complicate an inevitable rebuild.
– Bruce Peter of Habs blog Eyes on the Prize isn’t terribly jazzed about the trade or Montreal’s management in general at the moment. His article is titled The Losingest Losers That Ever Lost. The same blog also found out that Patrick Holland made an appearance on Reddit last night and allowed reddit users to ask him questions.
– Our own Justin Azevedo put together a roundtable discussion over at M&G. The reaction is varied but mostly positive.
That’s likely just a sample of what’s out there. Feel free to add others in the comments.